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In the broadcast segment they released a unique multi-channel device allowing loudness measurement associated with time code. This technique allows the measurements to start and pause automatically, following the playback system and providing continuously consistent values whether the operator jogs, shuttles or rewinds through the project. This process has equipped a few broadcast specialists in Europe such as France Television and ZDF. The last device introduced to market has been the home-theatre Magnitude 32 multi-channel audio processor with 32 channels and 4-way active crossover calibration. To my knowledge this remains the most powerful multi-channel processor extant. The upcoming Altitude 32 then will complete the current Trinnov catalogue with a new AV preamp quite soon.
Since my first encounter with the ST2-HiFi, the dimensions and characteristics of my listening room have changed radically. The acoustic treatment of my dedicated new room should have theoretically limited the need for digital correction. That’s why it was an appealing notion to test the Trinnov Amethyst within an already optimized/treated acoustic environment to measure its intrinsic added value versus (and in addition to) conventional passive acoustic treatments.

This actually turned into a far more challenging assessment than what I managed two years ago with the ST2-HiFi. Now I also had opportunity to use very complicated emissive sources like the sophisticated filter and rear-firing woofers of the Vivid Audio K1, the huge dipole ribbon surface of the Magnepan 20.7 and the six-driver Lawrence Audio Double Bass. And, I was a bit more prepared and skilled of a user seeing how the main functions of the new Amethyst basically revisit those of the ST2-HiFi, albeit within a more sophisticated iPad environment.

Now I could explore some of the endless capabilities of my digital loaner with a certain ease. The sole functions I did not use this time were the bass management system and phono input. I initially thought to assess the former by adding to the Magnepan 20.7 two infraplanar subs. After actually experiencing the 20.7, the addition of subwoofers no longer seemed like a good idea at all. Magnepan’s flagship had tremendous skills in the bottom end all by itself. Furthermore it couldn’t be bi-amped or bi-wired like the 20.1. Hence no subwoofer game.

The Amethyst comes with a dedicated 3D measuring microphone. This consists of four capsules mounted at the tops of thin brass tubes to avoid diffraction. They form a tetrahedron to identify distance, azimuth and elevation with a spatial resolution below ±2° in every direction. Individual compensation filters guarantee flat response within ±0.1dB across the 20Hz–24kHz bandwidth. The multi-point time/frequency acoustic measurement is quick and easy. In comparison to my previous ST2-HiFi trial, the Amethyst step-by-step wizard guides the user completely to make the calibration process child’s play - except if the speaker is very unusual like my huge Magnepan 20.7 planars.

Their surface was so enormous that the Trinnov encountered difficulties to precisely locate the left speaker. Its powerful algorithms not only rely on very accurate acoustic measurements but also the ability to determine precisely a speaker’s position to detect early reflection origins. I had to slightly adapt the position of both speaker and the microphone to capture the left panel. When you decide for a multi-point calibration to enlarge the sweet spot, the process can become a true nightmare. Being confident in Trinnov’s corrective abilities, I finally decided to address speaker placement in a way I would never have considered without room correction: close to the corners and with the tweeter ribbon on the outside.  As I explained in my previous review, you need to place the 3D multi microphone pod at ear height in the exact listening position directed at the speakers whilst the app does all the rest. In this setup which wouldn’t have worked without room correction, Trinnov’s data acquisition aka calibration process worked flawlessly on the first try.